Italy: Majority of Migrants Rejected for Asylum But Stay in Country Anyway

Migrants are pictured in a squatted abandoned penicillin factory on November 14, 2018 in Rome's Tiburtina district, where hundreds of migrants live in precarious conditions. - Migrants addressed the media during a press conference in the building on November 14, a day after police on November 13 bulldozed a symbolic …

Italian asylum case figures show an overwhelming majority of migrants coming into the country are not approved for asylum but nearly none of the rejected asylum seekers are actually deported.

Data from the Italian National Asylum Law Commission claims that each month a majority of asylum seekers claims are rejected, such as in July when 73 per cent were rejected and the month before which saw 81 per cent of migrants rejected for asylum status.

For the whole of 2019, just 11 per cent of asylum cases were approved for refugee status, while the rejection rate was 81 per cent.

After migrants arrive in Italy and claim asylum, a decision can take up to six months or more and even if they are rejected the Italian state gives migrants free legal assistance to appeal the ruling.

Lawyer and immigration expert Giorgio Mori, a member of the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI), told newspaper Il Giornale, “In two or three years, the judicial process can last, conditions in the country of origin can be changed and the court can see elements of criticality.”

The newspaper highlighted the case of a Pakistani migrant who had been rejected for asylum last year as judges found there was no credible risk the migrant would be persecuted in Pakistan.

However, a year later judges granted him residency due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the fact the migrant had worked jobs in Italy.

A similar case took place in 2018 involving an African migrant from Ivory Coast who had been rejected for asylum but was granted a residency permit because he maneged to find a job.

“While it is true that there are fewer political refugees, it is also true that the links for the granting of humanitarian and subsidiary protection have been widened,” Giorgio Mori said and added, “among other things, these types of protections are more coveted by migrants because they allow them to go and return freely from their country of origin.”

According to Mr Mori, employment contracts have become an important tool for migrants to stay in Italy and have made it more preferable for migrants to enter the country illegally, rather than through legal channels.

Migrants in Italy use other tactics to stay in the country, such as claiming to be homosexual if they are from countries that criminalise homosexuality or persecute homosexuals.

In other countries, such as Germany, migrants have even resorted to claiming to be members of terrorist groups or admitting to crimes in order to avoid being deported.

Earlier this month in the German city of Cottbus a migrant attacked a random 19-year-old with a knife and later claimed he did it in order to avoid being deported.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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